Michael McDermott leads a high powered field after the opening round of the Slieve Russell Masters Pro-Am in Co Cavan.
McDermott (Pure Golf Leopardstown) carded a six under par 66 to knock early leader, John Kelly (St Margaret's Golf & CC), off top spot heading into today's second and final round.
Michael, who won the Athenry Pro-Am in May, made a poor start to his round, dropping a shot at the par four first but after that hiccup, he played some superb golf, picking up birdies at the third, sixth, seventh and eighth.
He maintained his momentum into the back nine, collecting three more birdies at the 11th, 13th and 18th to take a one shot lead into Tuesday's final 18 holes.
Kelly, the reigning order of merit champion, was out in three under 33 after starting at the 10th but was becalmed somewhat on the back nine before two late birdies saw him sign for a 67.
Niall Kearney (Royal Dublin GC) and John Dwyer (Ashbourne GC) are still very much in the hunt after carding opening 69's, while Brendan McGovern (Headfort GC), Paul Masterson (Coollatin GC) and Damien Mooney (Ballyliffin GC) are a shot further back on two under par (70).
With one round remaining, the amateur team event looks to be a showdown between David Ruddy (98) and Brendan McGovern (97).
Slieve Russell Masters Pro-Am
1 Michael McDermott (Pure Golf Leopardstown) 66
2 John Kelly (St Margaret's Golf & CC) 67
T3 Niall Kearney (Royal Dublin GC) 69
T3 John Dwyer (Ashbourne GC) 69
T5 Brendan McGovern (Headfort GC) 70
T5 Paul Masterson (Coollattin GC) 70
T5 Damian Mooney (Ballyliffin GC) 70
T8 Graeme Dunlea (Adare Manor Hotel & Golf Resort) 71
T8 David Ryan (Cahir Park GC) 71
T8 Jimmy Bolger (Kilkenny GC) 71
T8 Scott Kirkpatrick (Ardee GC) 71